So, Central Division - Western Conference - NHL, welcome to your nightmare. Quite a virtuoso performance at the Saddle Dome, eh. Jamie Benn lifted his shirt and wowed the crowd with a hard six-pack of points while Tyler Seguin potted the Stars first Hat-trick since 2010...and one!
What a harbinger of hell to pay for opponents. Their sapient and skilled symbiotic relationship is only in its infancy. What a show this could be for the next decade.
Goalies be forewarned. Team Canada, take note.
Brenden Dillon was one of the best rookie defensemen in the NHL last season. This year he's again been paired with uber-competitive vet Stephane Robidas and they have formed the Stars top pair on D.
A quick comparison of the "Four Freshmen D Studs of the Western Conference" from a year ago shows that Dillon is arguably at the head of the sophomore class: (Numbers prior to game in EDM)
Brenden Dillon 3-4=7pts +3
Jonas Brodin. 3-3=6pts. +1
Jake Muzzin. 1-7=8pts. -3
Justin Schultz. 1-6=7pts. -10
Did You Know
The Stars franchise (North and Dallas) has never had a defenseman win the Norris Trophy for Best Defenseman or finish runner-up in voting. They did know Zubov played for the Stars, no?
Speaking of NHL Oversight
I just noticed that the NHL Guide and Record Book lists something called the NHL Lifetime Achievement Award. Huh?
It was first handed out in 2008 to Mr. Hockey Gordie Howe. The following year equally worthwhile/no-brainer, Jean Beliveau had the honor bestowed on him. Since then? There hasn't been a recipient. Four years, no award. WTF?! The worthy honoree list would be easy to compile for yours truly.
Pick and Stick
The Stars currently have only four 1st or 2nd round picks of their own playing on the team (Nichushkin, Chiasson, Ellis and Daley). The Red Wings have eight. Stars number is surely going up in near future.
Speaking of draft picks, the Edmonton Oilers are the first team to have three of their own 1st overall picks playing at same time (to my knowledge).
The mid-90s Ottawa Senators drafted Alexander Daigle, Bryan Berard, and Chris Phillips (who is still with them!) with first overall picks but the three never played together. Quebec would have been a part of this conversation too, had Eric Lindros not balked at playing in Le Belle Province. The Nordiques are however the last team to pick 1st overall in three consecutive drafts. Sundin, Nolan, Lindros, prior to the Oil bonanza.
I Hear That Cattle Whistle Blowin'
Virtually every coach now has a shiny silver whistle sewn onto his hockey glove for easy access during drill changes in practice instead of on a lanyard around his neck.
Well, I know of two Western Conference coaches who don't need them at all. Lindy Ruff has a sharp, piercing, alarming, somewhat stentorian mouth-whistle and Patrick Roy in Denver - although not as ear-splitting - snaps his Avs to attention in practices with incisive oral manipulation from what I've seen.
Lehtonen, Top Shelfing
So I look down at the Dallas net with 13 seconds to go in the blowout victory in Calgary and there, to my astonishment, is Kari Lehtonen SITTING on the top of the net. Legs dangling. Looking quite smitten with the evenings soon to be outcome.
I'm willing to bet that it doesn't become his signature game-closing posture. The agility to boost oneself and roost up there is most impressive, but the optics aren't very good.
Keep those skates on the ice and continue reaching for the stars as you backstop these Stars big fella.
The midterms are in on the mustache growing contest to raise money and awareness for Prostate Cancer, and the most common word being used to describe them is, "creepy."
Best so far: Erik Cole and Vern Fiddler are tied.
Surprisingly stylish with one: Rich Peverley and Trevor 'Billy D' Daley.
December 1 can't get here soon enough: Brenden Dillon and Ray Whitney.
I didn't realize you were growing one: Cody Eakin (He can grow one though).
Lots of time to fill ‘em in though, boys. Lotsa time.
Smellin Like Roses on the Road
They come home winners of six straight on the road, two shy of the franchise record. It started in Ottawa with a Shootout win. Prior to that, the Stars were once staggering along with a 1-4 mark away from AAC.
What changed? Kari Lehtonen's injury status, that's what. If great goaltending can be cologne for a team's odorous moments, then Lehtonen has been an industrial sized bottle of Axe body spray. Pungency indeed.
Showing Moxie in Vancouver
Owner Tom Gaglardi has made having the team, coaches, and traveling non-essentials (the Broadcast Dept.) over to his beautiful home in Vancouver for dinner an annual event since purchasing the club in 2011. In turn, the Stars have repaid the bounty of culinary delights and libations with a record of 3-0 at Rogers Arena.
They say you are what you eat; so the players must have found platters of Pacific NW Success (actually, that's a good handle for a yacht or a Pinot Noir). Be that as it may, on a personal note, I don't recall them serving Broadcast Legend at Tom's house... (Lol)...Perhaps it came in liquid form. (Haha!)
One Last Thing
Tyler Seguin is really good at ice hockey.